They may seem like a relic from your distant childhood, evoking feelings of weekend mornings in suburban fields with your family while a bloke in a sheepskin coat flogs miscellaneous household items from his car. But times have changed, and so have car boot sales. There are lots of car boot sales in London, and like flea markets, they’re a great place for bargain hunting, picking up vintage clothes and homeware and even second-hand tech. You don’t even need a car to get to them (although it’s kind of essential if you want to be a seller!).

The information in this article is focused on buyers, but you can visit the market websites if you’re interested in selling.

Capital Carboot, Pimlico

As the website says, Capital Carboot is open year round, come rain or shine. There are indoor and outdoor pitches filled with clothes, jewellery, books, toys, and homeware. Serious car boot buyers should nab an early bird ticket (£7) either online or on the door, after that the entry price is £5 from 11-11:30 and then down to a pound after 11:30 if you just fancy a Sunday afternoon browse.

  • When: Every Sunday
  • Price:10:00 – 11:30am £7.00/£5.00, 11:30am – 2:30pm £1.00
  • Location: The Pimlico Academy, Chichester Street Entrance, Lupus Street, Pimlico, London, SW1V 3AT
Car boot sales, for all your porcelain nostalgia needs. | Photo by istock.com/Punkbarby

Princes May Car Boot Sale, Stoke Newington

Part of The London Car Boot Co. (its sibling venue is St Augustines), Princess May School in Stoke Newington hosts a car boot sale every weekend. Fashion and furniture are the main draw here – it’s a particularly great place to pick up second hand furniture and vintage clothes. As with other car boots, get down early if you want your pick of the spoils, entry is £5.00 before 9am and £1.00 after if you want to get there at a more reasonable hour and have some money left over for coffee and pastries instead.

  • When: Saturdays and Sundays
  • Price: 7:30 – 9am £5.00, 9am – 2pm £1.00
  • Location: Princess May School, Stoke Newington, London N16 8DF

St Augustine’s Indoor & Outdoor Car Boot Sale, Kilburn

Like Princess May, St Augustines is also a school, and one of London’s longer-running car boot sales. The Kilburn car boot has been running since 1996, and has been the star of many daytime antique shows. Buyers turn up for second hand clothes, homeware, accessories (the list of forbidden items includes tins of paint and livestock, so we’re curious to know what kind of strange / bad behaviour went on at car boots of the past!). Anyway, we’re happy to note there is no livestock being sold, but on an altogether more pleasant note you can buy refreshments at the indoor café. Also organised by The London Car Boot Co.

  • When: Saturdays
  • Price: 7am – 10:30am £5.00, 10:30am – 2pm £1.00
  • Location: St Augustine’s School, Kilburn Park Road, London, NW6 5SN

Battersea Boot

One of London’s biggest car boot sales is also one that bucks the trend on early doors. The weekly Sunday car boot doesn’t open until lunchtime, so plenty of time for a lie-in and maybe even a stroll at Battersea Park beforehand. It’s been selling goods from car boots since 1999, and punters turn up to peruse designer goods, vintage clothes, antiques and collectables. See the Battersea Boot website for more info.

  • When: Sundays
  • Price: 1:30pm – 5pm £1.00
  • Location: Harris Academy, 401 Battersea Park Road, London, SW11 5AP

Hounslow Heath

This huge open-air market is part car-boot, part flea market, on the site of an old local garden centre. It seems this corner of west London loves a car boot, because it’s on three times a week on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 6am (ouch) to 1pm. It sells all kinds of second items from antique clocks to electronics, homeware and kids bikes. There are even some regular market stalls selling fruit and veg too, so you can pick up groceries as well as assorted household bargains.

  • When: Thursdays – Sundays
  • Price: 6am – 1pm £1.00, Sundays before 8:30am £2.00
  • Location: Hounslow Heath Garden Centre, Staines Road, Hounslow, Middlesex TW4 5DS

Southfield School Car Boot Sale, Acton

This one is the most unusual of the bunch. It’s a car boot sale that is run solely to raise funds for the Chiswick School Parent Teachers Association charity, with money raised through the £1 entry fee. It’s a monthly, rather than weekly event, with car boots running between February and December. Unusually, you can also pick up new items as well as second hand, and items include clothes, musical instruments, paintings, antique, homeware, fabric, furniture and musical equipment.

  • When: Third Sunday of the month
  • Price: 9am – 12:20pm £1.00
  • Location: Southfield Primary School, Southfield Road, W14

Looking for more curated bricabrac? See our article on Flea Markets in London.

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